To commemorate National Work Zone Awareness Week last month, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the State Police boosted enforcement in a joint effort to keep work crews safe. The Commission also took the opportunity to urge Pennsylvania drivers to “Go Orange”. The awareness campaign takes place across the nation each year and reminds drivers to “Go Orange” by following posted speed limits and signage in work zones and by making a pledge to avoid distractions when driving.
Since 1970, the Turnpike has lost 45 workers to deadly injuries in work zones and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has lost 90. In addition, there were 1,293 work zone crashes in 2022, resulting in 14 motorist fatalities. Boosting enforcement and promoting safety awareness are not the only key components of Pennsylvania’s Operation Orange campaign; there are also steeper consequences for drivers who fail to obey traffic laws in work zones, endangering turnpike workers and everyone else on the road. Drivers who are caught going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in an active work zone or who are involved in a crash in an active work zone (and are convicted of driving at an unsafe speed) will automatically lose their license for a minimum of 15 days. Other penalties include hundreds of dollars in fines and points being put onto the reckless party’s driver’s license.
Working on the turnpike is extraordinarily dangerous. Workers face significant risks of sustaining major bodily injury, since there are no protective barriers in place to shield them from impact should a car lose control and collide with them. At just 45 miles per hour, a car can break every bone in a person’s body. At a speed of 65 miles per hour, death becomes imminent. Despite having drastically reduced speed limits in work zones and workers wearing appropriate personal protective gear, like hard hats, it is critical that drivers exhibit extra caution and reserve when approaching, driving inside of, and exiting every work zone.
Turnpike workers go to work so they can help keep other people safe – and the rest of us must do our part to keep them safe, too. Thousands of Pennsylvanians have pledged to “Go Orange”.
If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.